COMSAT General Expands MARISAT Services To Entire Indian Ocean

An agreement signed by COMSAT G e n e r a l Corporation has opened the way for the start of construction this year of a shore station in Japan to operate with the Indian Ocean MARISAT satellite. The station, expected to be completed in the summer of 1978, will be the first MARISAT station to be constructed outside of the United States, and the first to operate at commercial frequencies with the Indian Ocean satellite.

It will extend MARISAT services to ships and offshore facilities throughout the entire Indian Ocean for the first time, significantly expanding the MARISAT System to provide full coverage over the three major oceans of the world. Other MARISAT satellites presently serve the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean areas.

Under terms of an agreement between Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co., Ltd. (KDD) of Japan, and COMSAT General, Manager of the MARISAT System, KDD will use capacity in the Indian Ocean satellite to provide modern telephone, telex and other public communications to maritime interests.

KDD will build a shore station at Yamaguchi. The start of commercial service through this new station and the Indian Ocean satellite next year will close a gap in coverage of the MARISAT System between the Straits of Malacca and the Persian Gulf.

The Atlantic and Pacific MARISAT satellites have been providing high-quality telex, telephone, facsimile and data communications at commercial frequencies to ships and offshore facilities at sea in those ocean areas for the past year.

The number of ships and offshore rigs now equipped with terminals f o r o p e r a t i o n with MARISAT totals about 65. Of this total, 53 are equipped with COMSAT General mobile terminals, and 27 additional COMSAT General terminals have been ordered for installation in the near future.

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